Raw live

Hello from New Orleans. Tonight, Henry T. Casey will be reporting live from Raw at the Smoothie King Center. We will likely see Lesnar come out to epic heat, Daniel Bryan celebrate his title win, and possibly, The Undertaker’s retirement speech. See you at 7:30 EDT, Wrestlemaniacs.

WWE Superstars taping: Ziggler vs. Ryback to start. Ryback chants “RYBACK” at the crowd after the crowd chants “GOLDBERG.” Crowd firmly behind Ziggler, with plenty of chants of “LET’S GO, ZIGGLER” to show that they think he’s above Superstars. Ziggler hit a great face buster off the top rope for a near fall. A lot of near falls for Ziggler, but Ryback won with a pinfall after hitting Shellshocked.

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Superstars Match 2: Kofi Kingston, with a whole lot of pyro, vs. Titus O’Neil (because black wrestlers only have one on one matches with other black wrestlers???) Titus wrestled very stiff; I could feel that big boot he put on Kingston – and the chest chops he hit as well – as well from ringside. Kofi’s flying offense looks incredibly soft in person. Titus won with a powerbomb, not a meaningful match, but one he shouldn’t be losing.

Raw is minutes from starting, and out come Cole, JBL, and King. I’m amazed at the near complete standing ovations that JBL and King got. They both hurt the commentary more than they help it.

The crowd is chanting/singing Cesaro‘s entrance music pretty loudly before the show opened.

Bryan’s video package we saw last night at Mania plays. The song in it is “Monster” by Imagine Dragons.
The segue of Bryan’s kip-ups in the past to now is a really lovely visual. The package is updated, of course, with footage from his win last night.
Out comes Bryan with the WCH title around his waist and the WWE title in hand.

Never ending “DAN-IEL-BRY-AN” chants.

He talks about how it’s been two years since the “YES” chants at WM28. There’s a lot of love in the room. How’s it going to sour?
Triple H, that’s how. Out comes Trips and Stephanie McMahon. Says this isn’t going to last. Bryan will defend the title against Triple H. Bryan barely reacts and does the YES! Pose with the title belts. Triple H and Steph go to the back.

It’s odd that Bryan will only fight Triple H tonight, I could have seen him booked to fight twice.

It’s announced that The Hall of Fame ceremony will replay on USA after Raw tonight.

After an NXT promo, the audience chants “OLE! OLE! OLE! OLE!” In reference to Sami Zayn.

Backstage promo from Steph and Triple H, and Batista complains about Triple H losing. Randy Orton enters and he and Batista both want rematches, but only Trips gets the shot tonight.

Orton and Batista booked against the tag team champs The Usos, with the belts on the line. Triple H references that Evolution; they were unstoppable.

BRAP! it’s the Wyatts. “New Orleans, we’re here.”

Wyatt Family to face Cena, Sheamus, and Big E.

The crowd is firmly behind the Wyatts as the match starts, Cena v Bray. All of Cena’s offense is met with boos. Bray takes great pleasure in the crowd’s support. The crowd sings “JOHN CENA SUCKS” to the tune of Cena’s entrance theme.

The crowd sings “HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS,” just as Bray has in back stage promos. Most of the match featured Luke Harper, who looks great.

Bray stomps a hole into Cena. Cena keeps coming back and the crowd keeps booing. The singalongs of CENA SUCKS and THE WHOLE WORLD each happen again.

Cena makes a hot tag to Sheamus who cleans house and hits a few double moves on Rowan and Harper.

A nice high flying splash by Harper to people outside the ring,

Wyatt ends the match hitting Sister Abigail on Big E, and then pinning him for a win.

Amazing Hype video for Bo Dallas. It’s not Impossible. It’s I’m Possible.

Out comes Fandango and Summer Rae for a mixed tag match against Santino and Emma.

Emma gets to use the Taranta and then the Emma Lock. Summer Rae taps to the Emma lock. Emma’s music. We dance.

Out to massive boos, of course, are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Lesnar has a black bruise under his left eye.

The crowd is still chanting BULLSHIT, as they did last night. Heyman is brilliant, tells us WE TOLD YOU SO
“Brock Lesnar is here to put tears in the eyes of children. Heyman says it’s time to shoot … from the hip.” Heyman says Vince left WM with Taker, to the hospital, for the severe concussion Taker suffered. John Bradshaw Layfield and those two other thingies they call announcers. Heyman critiques the salute that Taker got. Says that TAKER WAS A LOSER.
A great speech that says Lesnar is the One, and everybody else is a wannabe. Lesnar is the 1 in 21-1.
Epic promo. Lesnar never spoke. Nobody came out to speak against him. Well done. Up next is Usos v Bootista and Orton.
Great promo for Adam Rose, who is bring brought up from NXT, and has his good music.

Tag Team Titles Match:
The crowd has a YOU TAPPED OUT chant for Big Dave.
The crowd, sensing this match doesn’t matter, chants for Y2JCM Punk, ring announcer Justin Roberts, and JBL.
The match ends in a double count out. Batista powerbombs an Uso onto the steel steps.
Batista and Orton pose, and continue to do so into the commercial break. Orton is feeding off a BORING chant.
Up next: Hulk Hogan to present the Andre The Giant trophy to Cesaro.

Damien Sandow is out first though, and that’s a pleasant surprised to see him on Raw.

AND ROB VAN DAM RETURNS. Oh no, Sandow is going to get squashed.

Sandow keeps interrupting Van Dam’s poses.

Whenever RVD gets some offense in, Sandow rolls out of the ring.

RVD goes top rope and hits the 5-star-frog splash, and gets the pin.

Sandow thankfully didn’t look completely inept.

Out comes Rey Mysterio, who is forced to wrestle in a t-shirt because he’s out of shape. Like Cartman wearing a white t-shirt in the swimming pool bad.

But making his return to in ring competiton is Bad News Barrett!!!

Fairly even match, but the crowd is loving the return of the bare-knuckle-boxing bad Brit.
Barrett crotches Rey on the top turnbuckle, and hits a giant elbow on Rey. Barrett wins with via pinfall, and this is the best news of the night if you ask me. But up next, Alexander Rusev will finally make his Raw debut.
Out comes Zack Ryder, who is going to be fed to the Rusev, the Bulgarian Brute.

An even longer promo for Adam Rose, which is even better.
Out comes Lana, “The Ravishing Russian,” to intro Rusev.
If it’s not coming across on TV, Rusev is HUGE. Fast as hell too. This is a good example of a squash match done right. Ryder taps out to a submission. Lana, with one gesture, calls of the hold. Rusev is the kind of monster heel that the WWE is lacking.
Coming up: The Ultimate Warrior!!?So, Saturday Night wasn’t just a one and done? I’m surprised.Warrior comes out, at a slow walk, and in a nice suit, which is different.

And then, he finds a cape conveniently placed under the ring, and enters the ring, stopping to do his signature turnbuckle shake.

After saying he’s had a hard time finding the words, he pulls a plastic Warrior mask out of the robe, and breaks back into character, for a big speech.

Puts the crowd over for being “the legend makers of The Ultimate Warrior.” A great concise promo, with no response, because he’s not doing a program with anybody.
And your reigning Divas champion, 295 days long now, AJ Lee.

AJ declares she’s the hero of the story, despite the fact that she cheated her victory.
And a CM Punk chant is met with the winkin declaration that she’s the savior of the division. AND NOW NXT’s WOMEN’s CHAMP PAIGE DEBUTS ON RAW, interrupting the promo.
After some verbal sparring, AJ challenges Paige. And puts her Divas title on the line!
AJ was freaking out in her loss, and it was awesome.
Also great? Another BoLieve promo! RAW IS NXT!
Out comes Hogan to present the Andre trophy to Cesaro. And that trophy is big and heavy-looking. Hogan makes a rib on himself about his Silverdome slip up. Hogan also declares this Battle Royal will be annual.
Cesaro and Coulter come out, Cesaro in a new black sparkly jacket. Cesaro introduces his new manager, and declares he is A PAUL HEYMAN GUY.
Heyman dubs Cesaro “The King Of Swing,” and before you know it, Swagger runs out to attack Cesaro and destroy the Andre Trophy.

Brad Maddox comes out and before this can go any further, he books it a match for Right Now.

As the match starts, Heyman is in Cesaro’s corner, clutching the Andre part of the trophy.

Swagger v Cesaro is a PPV quality match. We are so lucky tonight, folks.

The top rope dead-lift suplex? Cesaro is that damn good. Great decision to have a no decision ending. Put this on Extreme Rules, and sell that PPV with that one match.

Up next, our last match, Bryan v Triple H II, for the title. If Triple H goes over, this place will melt down.

Over a montage of press covering Lesnar breaking The Streak, the crowd chants “THIS IS BULLSHIT.”

Backstage, Stephanie instructs The Shield and Kane to make sure Triple H wins the title tonight. It would be great to give their face turn greater visibility.

Stephanie shrieks out on Kane, and tells The Shield that the YES! movement and Bryan’s championship reign is an injustice, and that they have to work together.

Reigns’ response to Stephanie makes their upcoming disobedience even more likely.

After Bryan’s entrance, out come our newly allied BootistOrton, who immediately gang up on Bryan. It’s a mugging. The Shield should be out here any second to help Bryan… But Kane comes out instead,
I’m assuming *not* to help his former Team Hell No Buddy. Kane hits a lazy choke slam on Bryan.
And here comes Triple H. The Authority’s goons slither out of the ring. Triple H, who had a taped up left leg, asks the ref to enter the ring. Stephanie yells at the Ref to follow orders. They start the match.
And right as Triple H is about to do something, SIERRA, HOTEL, INDIA, ECHO, LIMA, DELTA, the Shield, in new Hounds of Justice face masks, come out for the save. After a big standoff, we have a cluster finish, with the centerpiece of Reigns spearing Triple H. The Authority retreats, and that was probably the end of the show.
Out comes Renee Young to interview The Shield, we get a nice promo from all three members. She then interviews Bryan, who is giving a slightly cloying happy speech.
Thank you and Good Night, Wrestlemaniacs.

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